Tag Archives: Dolphin Fishing

Summer Dolphin Tactics

 

Summer Dolphin Tactics

By Capt. Gus Cane

 

Dolphin, Dorado, mahimahi. No matter what you call them these neon green, yellow and blue speedsters are perhaps the perfect pelagic game fish. Why? Because they fight extremely hard, they are common in warm waters around the world, they grow super fast, and they taste delicious. That’s why Dolphin are such a popular summertime target.

 

To get in on the fun, start with the computer. Satellite forecasting services can help pinpoint likely zones based on water temperatures, underwater structure, currents and temporary features like color changes and weed lines. Reports from the local tackle shop, marina or fishing forum will help narrow the search too.

 

On the water, the boat’s electronics will be invaluable tools. The chart plotter will identify ledges, humps and depth contours that concentrate bait. Some units offer real-time data overlays. Dial in the radar to paint frigates and other birds hunting for bait and keep a pair of binoculars handy to confirm the blips. The sounder will show the differences in water temperatures. Dolphin love hot water, so even a degree or two of change could mean a concentration of fish.

Having a mixed tackle set-up will expand your dolphin opportunities. Big plastic chugger and jet head lures on trolling combos run several waves behind the boat will cover plenty of water. A heavy Nylure lead jig in bright yellow trolled way back is a surefire bet. It often produces when nothing else will. A heavy spinning outfit with a large surface lure like a Sebile Popper can be cast quickly whenever the birds are working bait, or you run across a nice weed line or floating debris. Dolphin love to hang around anything, from wooden pallets, oil drums, trees and other flotsam. These “surface structures” attract small baitfish, which in turn attracts hungry dolphin. Another spinning outfit with a stout live bait hook and a chunk of ballyhoo is great enticement when that gang of gaffers does show up.

Dolphin typically travels in packs so once one is hooked, keep it in the water as long as possible. The thrashing and commotion will pull its school mates into casting range. If, after catching a couple the fish seem to lose interest, throw a handful of small cut ballyhoo pieces overboard. That will usually fire ‘em up again. Another trick is to use the raw water washdown hose and spray a light shower near the boat. The noise and dimpling water often triggers another feeding frenzy.

After a fun fight comes the best part—eating the catch. Dolphin filets are very mild and can be cooked a variety of ways. It’s hard to beat a big slab hot off the grill, however.

Visit Yamaha Outboards.com Today.

 

Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

 

Five Proven Rigs for Dolphin

 

Five Proven Rigs for Dolphin

By Craig Lamb

Dolphin, sometimes called the mahi-mahi, are one of the tastiest, sporting game fish in the sea. This species is especially fun to catch during summer, when schools of dolphin congregate around drifting objects like grass, floating debris or offshore drilling platforms.

Hook up with one dolphin and others will follow your catch back to the boat. One or more larger fish might even blitz the bait with your fish on the line. The iridescent blue, green and yellow hues of the species make it even more prized by saltwater anglers. So do the acrobatic leaps of the fish when hooked.

Photo: Home Run Charters

Here are five proven rigs for summer success with dolphin.

Ready rig

This is just a catch phrase to explain the importance of always having a spinning rod and reel always at the ready. Dolphin can appear from nowhere around drifting grass, floating debris or other isolated habitats.

Spool up with 20-pound test line on a medium/heavy reel and rod combo. Use a weedless ballyhoo rig. Make it by running the hook point through the gill and out the throat of the ballyhoo. Insert the hook into the belly to make it weedless. You can also add a small skirt over the nose of the ballyhoo for additional strike appeal and to deflect weeds.

Keep the ballyhoo rig in a bucket of saltwater and be ready when the fish show up.

Real thing

You can also set a drift along a weed line using live bait. The rig is simple but effective. Just tie a 2/0 or 3/0 live bait hook to 20-pound line on a spinning reel. Pitch the lure to the edge of the weed line. The weightless and simple rig lets the bait swim enticingly into the weeds.

Go deep

If a school of dolphin suddenly disappears have ready a 3/4-ounce jigging spoon rigged to a casting outfit. The rig can be dropped vertically along the edge of the weed line and worked at various depths. Use a snapping action with your wrist to impart the action of a wounded bait fish.

Chunk of bait

When all else fails, you can rig a chunk of ballyhoo to a 6/0 live bait hook. Use a stout, heavy action rod and reel spooled with 50-pound test. Use a long leader, at least 20 feet, so you can snip off sections as the line becomes frayed without having to retie the entire rig. Add a few ounces of weight and complete the rig with a balloon. Allow it to drift along the edge of the weed line.

Chugging along

To fire up a school of dolphin, you can’t go wrong with a noisy topwater bait. Chugger-style plugs make a great choice for the splashing action imparted when the lure is worked across the surface.  

A center console boat designed for hardcore offshore fishing without sacrificing luxury features is the unbeatable combination found in the Tidewater 252 CC Adventure.

Here’s a preview of how luxury meets performance in a center console rig. Flip out the comfy back rests on the cushioned forward bench seating and you get a bow rider experience. A new center console mounting system and standard hardtop set this rig up for serious fishing.

What else sets the Tidewater 252 CC Adventure apart from the rest are the specs of the boat. It has a length overall of 24’ 8” and a wide beam spanning 9’ 3” for a solid ride and plenty of interior room. The boat weighs 4,150 pounds with a fuel capacity of 126 gallons for making long runs offshore. Twin 115 h.p. outboards are recommended for optimum fuel economy and performance, with a maximum of 300 h.p. A 21-degree deadrise at the transom creates a soft ride in waves and chop. Cockpit depth rises from 27.5” to 33.5” inches at midship and bows for a safe, drier ride. 

Top off the above features with foam floatation, all-composite, no wood construction and a hand-laid fiberglass boat and you get the most reliable, dependable boat in it’s class.

Split fishing boxes, storage for terminal tackle utility boxes, abundant rod storage, and fresh water wash down adds to the fishing features. A 25-gallon aerated live well is designed with round corners to reduce fish stress and finished in blue to keep bait calm.

Hardcore anglers and discriminating boaters like to customize their rigs with options that suit their needs. The Tidewater 252 CC Adventure delivers with the best quality accessories available. Leaning post options are many. Choose from a deluxe drop bolster version, or a leaning post with a sink or a live well. A LED lighting package, Taco 280 Grandslam outriggers, and underwater lights are among the many other options.

A luxury experience with a performance edge. That’s what you get with the Tidewater 252 CC Adventure.

Tidewater stays close to it’s saltwater roots with the manufacturing facility located in Lexington, S.C. Find out more about the complete lineup of models,  at tidewaterboats.com. Visit the growing community of Tidewater owners on Facebook at Tidewater Boats LLC.

Originl Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com 

Get Started Dolphin Fishing with Tidewater

 

Get Started Dolphin Fishing with Tidewater

by Ted Lund

Without a doubt, dolphin (mahi-mahi) are one sport fishing’s favorite species. They are found worldwide, bite readily, are colorful, strong, acrobatic fighters — and as a bonus, they are great table fare.

Getting started dolphin fishing is easy if you live along the East Coast. The first ingredient you need is ready access to bluewater. If you live in Florida, that’s relatively easy to find. Elsewhere, it can be more difficult to pinpoint, but with the help of ocean forecasting services like Roffer’s (www.roffs.com) anglers can avoid wasting time and fuel looking for the right conditions.

Once you pinpoint the most likely water, the next goal is to find anything floating. Mats of Sargasso weed, old logs, semi-submerged hawser line discarded from ships and other debris provide cover and harbor food for predatory pelagics like dolphin.

One of the most effective ways of targeting dolphin is called running-and-gunning, where anglers run until they find debris or feeding birds, then put baits out. Fish the area for a while and if you don’t find anything, keep moving.

Artificial lures like Moldcraft Stubbies or C&H lures rigged with frozen ballyhoo are among the best artificials, and can easily be trolled on light conventional or heavy (20- to 30-pound-class) spinning gear. Once hooked up, it’s a good idea to stop the boat and start throwing chum (glass minnows, chunks of herring, etc.). Dolphin often travel in large schools, and this is a great way to maximize your harvest. Have several rods ready with pitchbaits just in case. And it’s not a bad idea to have jig or other artificial lure ready in case you have to whip them into a frenzy. You’ll also want to keep one hooked fish in the water at all times, helping keep the school around.

Tidewater Boats-Saltwater Fishing-Dolphin-BFMG-Content Marketing-Because they are readily available, anglers in many different styles of boats can capitalize on them. One good middle of the road choice is the 230 CC from Tidewater. At 23 feet long and with an 8-foot, 10-inch-beam, the 230 CC is a perfect compromise for near and offshore anglers. Rated for up to 300-hp and with 95 gallons of fuel capacity, it’s got the legs to reach out to the bluewater. It’s 3200-pound weight and 20 degrees of deadrise at the transom but 55 in the bow where the work is done.

The 230 CC is available in white, black, sky blue, Bimini blue, Fusion blue, Carbon grey and Island green.

Some standard accessories include automatic bilge pump, LED navigational lighting, forward casting decks with fish boxes, a 25-gallon aerated live well, stainless steel rub rail, and cockpit courtesy lights. Popular options include bolsters, cushions, bow lifting ring, 24 or 36-volt charging system, fresh water shower and Sea Star hydraulic steering is Standard.

Like all members of the Tidewater family, the 230 CC offers no-wood construction, a 10-year transferable hull warranty, foam flotation, fiberglass stringer system and hand-laid fiberglass hull. For more information on the Tidewater 230 CC or the rest of the Tidewater family of boats or to find a dealer near you, visit www.tidewaterboats.com.

Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle

Tidewater 2800CC: Perfect for Dolphin Season Everywhere

 

Tidewater 2800CC: Perfect for Dolphin Season Everywhere

by Ted Lund

From the offshore canyons in the Northeast to the Florida Straits, summertime means one thing to serious anglers: dolphin. They are one of the world’s most popular offshore gamefish; they are readily accessible, usually willing to bite, and make for great table fare. Being an open-ocean wanderer, you’ll want the perfect machine to chase them with; Tidewater’s 280CC Adventure fits the bill.

Running and Gunning

280 CC Adventure
280 CC Adventure Tidewater Boats

One of the most effective ways to specifically target big dolphin is to actively run-and-gun for them; seek out structure-like palettes, trees, or towing hawsers. You’ll also want to keep an eye to the sky for birds. You’ll find a number of smaller birds like terns and noddys, which follow dolphin. Chances are if you spot a frigate bird, a trophy is near by.

Study the body language and actions of the frigate; if it is cruising high on the thermoclines, it is either following a fish from a distance or keeping an eye out for one. Frigates are usually on the hunt when they are lower to the water and flying in a straight line. Get ready to get hooked up if you find them wheeling and plucking baitfish off the surface.

Tackle

The best tackle for trophy dolphin is usually spinning gear that allows anglers to pitch hefty live or deadbaits. Usually a 7- to 71/2-foot spinning rod, dolphinm-lgarmed with an 800-series reel is the preferred weapon of choice. You’ll want a reel that can handle several hundred yards of 20-pound monofilament or braid. To the end of that, you’ll want a 50- to 60-pound floro leader, attached to a Bimini in the braid by a Bristol knot. This allows the knot to be wound right up into the guides and flow easily on the cast. For hooks, you’ll want to opt for a large J-hook. The idea here is to hook and land a big fish. Your chances are better if you have a large J-hook firmly embedded in the dolphin’s gut. Remember, no one ever released a 40-pounder — deliberately.

Baits

When running and gunning dolphin, you’ll want a mix of live and dead baits to pitch to large fish. Live blue runners, ballyhoo, goggle eyes and herring are top choices. In order to get them to live longer, as well as hook up better, you’ll want to bridle them to the hook using a floss loop or rubber band.

The same idea is true with dead baits. Large squid, ballyhoo, or flying fish are popular choices. Unfortunately, once thawed, the baits can become flimsy and fly off the hook easily. This is resolved by sewing them to the hook using wax floss or rigging wire.

Regardless of the bait, the next step is finding and hooking the fish. You’ll want to cast the bait out in front of the fish on an intercept course. Big dolphin are usually always hungry, so getting the bite isn’t much of a problem. But what you do after the bite makes all the difference in the world. Even though these are big fish, you’ll want to let them eat; they’re trying to swallow a big bait. Count to 10 with the bail open, then lock the reel up and wind. The rest is up to you.

Full Featured

The 280CC Adventure is equally at home on day trips to the Stream or overnight trips to the canyons. At 28-feet, 4-inches, its the flagship of the Tidewater line. It’s 9-foot, 10-inch beam is roomy and creates a wide pattern for trolling lures and natural baits; but it’s also a great choice for running and gunning. Boasting a maximum 600 hp with 205 gallons of standard fuel capacity, anglers can really stretch their legs in search of these highly migratory pelagics.

Family-oriented fishermen are sure to appreciate the amenities like a 19-gallon freshwater tank perfect for quick showers and a 13-gallon waste capacity for an internal head.

One of the biggest problems for dolphin fishermen is storage; it’s often possible to catch a limit of fish so quickly you barely have time to find some place to put them. Not a problem thanks to the 280CC’s cavernous fish boxes. Four plumbed compartments total 160 gallons of useable fish storage area.

The 280CC’s pair of 30 gallon livewells are sure to be a hit with offshore anglers as well; giving them the ability to carry live ballyhoo,  goggleyes, or blue runners separately.

Other standard features on the 280 CC  Adventure — and the rest of Tidewater’s lineup — include all-composite, no wood construction with fiberglass stringers and a hand-laid fiberglass hull. Each boat is rigged to AYBC standards and backed by a 10-year transferable hull warranty.

For more information on the CC Adventure family of boats or the entire Tidewater line, visit tidewaterboats.com,

 

Original Source; Sportsmans Lifestyle.com